Having lost most of the skilled human capital in 1994 Genocide against Tutsi, Rwanda has not only in the past two decades trained several professionals, but also managed to retain them.
Between 1980 and 1995, Rwanda had churned out only 3031 graduates with various professions. Unfortunately most of them perished during the genocide.
Today there are more than 100,000 locally produced professionals.
The country’s stability and economic performance with lucrative opportunities are major factors attracting skilled labour and preventing brain drain.
President Paul Kagame has given about 500 scholarships worth $100m to USA, UK and other international universities.
Over 90% of the graduates have returned and working in Rwanda. Others have become entreprenuers.
In the ‘Global Competitiveness Report (2014-2015)’ Rwanda ranks at the top of all African countries that have managed to contain brain drain and also import more skilled labour.
Rwanda tops this ranking way higher than Morocco and Kenya.
Ivory Coast and South Africa make the top five African countries that hold on to their best and brightest.
Burundi is Africa’s worst hit by brain drain.
According to the report, success in containing brain drain was linked to “quality of policy and institutions as factors key to determining level of productivity of a country, and consequently its economic fortunes.”
“We are importing strategically, looking at gaps to bridge,” Judith Uwizeye, Minister of Public Service and Labor has told KT Press.
Uwizeye also said her office has already accomplished an occupation demand list, which will indicate priority areas, where the country needs to import skilled labour.
The list which is awaiting cabinet approval includes education and construction industry. The country already imported from the region over 1000 teachers in twelve year basic education who serve as mentors in English program.
Meanwhile, Uwizeye said Rwanda is now getting enough workers with technical skills and will soon start exporting the surplus.
Technical skills were provided by technical and vocational schools that were launched since 2008.
“We are working on skills export policy, making sure that our people will be treated with dignity abroad,” says the labour Minister.
“Rwandans have good reputation abroad we have to take that opportunity by sending our people work abroad,” she said.
Currently, Rwanda signed with Israel a contract to export agriculture graduate students, to help farmers in mechanization.
In other areas, Rwanda with 4.8 scores was ranked second African country after Gambia (4.9 score) on the list of countries which appoint high ranking officials based on merit.
Kenya and Botswana have the same score with Rwanda.
Mauritania, Chad and Angola are on the bottom of the list.
Source: KT Press